Icebreaker Frees Trapped Cruise Ship

Tuesday, February 01, 2000
An Argentine Navy ice breaker battled to free a U.S.-operated cruise liner with 186 people aboard which is trapped in a field of ice off the coast of Antarctica on Jan. 31. The Clipper Adventurer, carrying 115 passengers and 71 crew, was sailing through the Straight of Matha west of the Antarctic Peninsula, about 900 miles south of Tierra del Fuego, when a change of wind unexpectedly dragged ice around it, the Argentine Navy said. The 330-foot Clipper Adventurer sailed from the Argentine port of Ushuaia in the far southern island of Tierra del Fuego on Jan. 28, and was sailing between the islands of Belgrano and Liard when it was trapped. No damage to the ship or injuries were reported. The icebreaker Almirante Irizar smashed through the ice toward the Clipper Adventurer, which was freed early on Feb. 1. Clipper Cruise Line officials said that the Bahamas-registered ship was expected to continue its 12-day Antarctic cruise, calling the incident a "non-event" and speculating that passengers would be excited by the occurrence and consider it an "adventure." The icebreaker had been in the area supplying Argentina's Almirante Brown antarctic base. The "Clipper Adventurer," which has an ice-strengthened hull, is due back in Ushuaia Feb. 8.

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